07Jun Married Redemptorist tells his story

At this time of change and decay and hopeful renewal in the Church, at this time when priestly numbers are dwindling and the writing is on the wall, at this time when the ‘Tridentine moment’ in the Church’s life draws to a close (cf Eamon Duffy, Faith of our Fathers, London and New York, Continuum Books 2004) and at this time when Brendan Hoban asks the question about the future of ministry in the church, may I draw the attention of readers on this website to ‘The book what I wrote’ (if I may borrow from Morecambe and Wise!)

Finding Maggie’ is just published now by Kevin Mayhew publishers of Buxhall, Stowmarket, East Anglia and tells the story of a young boy recruited early into priestly ways, who met a girl called Maggie and found his happiness. The young boy is my good self, Brian Fahy, son of a Lancashire father with Westport connections and of an Irish mother from Glencullen, Bangor Erris, County Mayo. Maggie, the girl I met and eventually married, developed a rare lung condition, underwent surgery for a lung transplant and had three good years before her sudden death, aged 47, in September 2012.

A second, follow-up book is now ready and will be published in September 2013 called ‘On the One Road’. This tells at greater length the story of my journey from boyhood into the Redemptorist Order, of my years in religious life, and of my struggle to leave and find my way to Maggie and to our son, Michael.

It is Maggie’s sudden death that has catapulted me into writing and publishing. My editors have asked me to write a journal over these next two years and if it proves readable and helpful will also see the light of day as a help book on grief. A fourth book is now being written and I am thinking also of short stories.

‘Finding Maggie’ is my first published book. It is priced at £10.99 from Kevin Mayhew. The lady in my local supermarket said she wouldn’t pay that price for a paperback, but I told her quality doesn’t come cheap.

I was a Redemptorist for many years, indeed for most of my life. It is very much part of who I am. When I left and found my happiness, I told a friend in the Order, “I haven’t really left, you know. I have just relocated within the church.” And so I have. Now I would like my story to do the talking and to share whatever lessons may be there for the learning.

So, if you haven’t yet decided on your summer reading, get hold of my book now and put in your order for the second one, and come with me and let me tell you a story.

Best wishes, Brian Fahy

 

6 Responses

  1. Ed Hone

    I am a long-standing friend of Brian, the author of ‘Finding Maggie’. He undersells himself. His book is wonderful. It is gentle, poetic, reflective, and frank. He writes of his own story, how he entered the Redemptorist Juvenate at the age of 11, how he struggled to live a fully human life in the Redemptorist Congregation, and how a wonderful, lively, fully human person brought him to life. Her name was Maggie, and I knew her as truly extraordinary person. Brian’s book is not an exposé; neither is it a ‘kiss and tell’ story, nor is it political, demanding change in the Church. It is a human story. Nevertheless, it is worthy of a much wider audience than its obvious subject (‘priest meets woman and leaves to marry’) might suggest. I may be biased, but I recommend ‘Finding Maggie’ 100%. You can find a 12 page preview here http://www.kevinmayhew.com/finding-maggie.html
    Enjoy!

  2. Wanderer

    I hope Brian is doing well after his loss. She will find you again Brian. True love never dies. And that’s not just a romantic cliche.

    C S Lewis says that God uses pain to rouse a deaf world.

    I have not read your story, but listening to Ed can well imagine what it might contain. Maybe your pain will be made use of to rouse from deafness, a world and a Church, to the knowledge of the real blessing and power of true love – whether lived in and through the the celibate or married person’s life.

    I know many people who are conflicted in this area. To be celibate for Christ or not and it’s nothing to do with priesthood.

    Their stories, anguish – pain. I hope and believe God will use their pain too in rousing the ears of a deaf hierarchical Church.

  3. Brendan Peters

    To say that ‘Finding Maggie’ moved me deeply seems inadequate. It is a rich tapestry of beauty, pain and joy. Brian’s vulnerability and courage in narrating this story is as remarkable as the woman whom this story concerns.

  4. ger gleeson

    Brian, I have no doubt that you are an inspiration to so many people. Joining the Redemptorists at 11, and then realising that God had other plans for you. Maggie came into your life, and then at 47 she was gone. I know it is of little comfort to you to say that, there are many married people who find themselves in the same situation. Rearing a child whose Mother is gone to God is a heavy cross to bear. The values that Michael has learnt from both Maggie and your good self, will stand him well in his future life. In relation to your priesthood, I think Wanderer @ 2 above sums up your situation and so many others very well. “Their stories, anguish-pain. I hope and believe God will use their pain too in rousing the ears of a deaf hierarchical Church”.

    PS. I am truly delighted with the heading of your post, “Married Redemptorist tells his story”. Once a priest always a priests.

  5. Brian Eyre

    A married priests reflections about Brian Fahy’s book

    I live in Recife, Brazil.I’ve just read a preview of Brian Fahy’s book, ‘Finding Maggie’. This book has a powerful message which will help many people. As a married priest I can understand what he went through until he finally took the decision to leave his order,and how he found new life with Maggie and their son.
    I was a member of the Holy Ghost Fathers for 18 years as a missionary priest in Brazil. In 1983 I married Marta my Brazilian wife. She came into my life as a gift from God. We have 2 children, a girl of 29 and a boy of 25.
    On the 6th of May we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and to commemorate this event we wrote a book. It’s a simple story about how we met, how we discovered that we wanted to continue our lives together, it talks about our children and our pastoral work.Its title is: “I only want you to be happy”, and the sub-title is: “The love story of a priest and a nun”.
    The sacrament of matrimony has not been an impediment to exercising my priesthood. I have managed to reconcile having a family, a job and finding time for pastoral work.
    I thank Brian for sharing his deepest feelings and memories. The love that he has for Maggie is very evident and will always be there as he now carries on his life with their son Michael.

    Brian Eyre (Recife, Brazil br_eyre@hotmail.com)

  6. Linda, Derry

    I wasn’t aware that vows made at ordination at the altar of God, to God, for life, were dispensable these days! Can married laity also disregard THEIR vows before God too then? Or is it a very inappropriate case of ‘double standards’ and very bad example? :-/